Strategies For Living: Don’t be a jerk

Aaron McHugh

I love this one. Jerks often don’t even know they are being a “jerk” (I’m keeping this PG-rated. Feel free to swap terms for mature audiences). If you’re someone who yells, cusses, slams doors, belittles others, is arrogant, insensitive, intolerant, impatient, and unaware or indifferent to the effect they have on others- you’re a jerk.

Reading that list, doesn’t it make you want to punch that guy?

I’ve learned that being a jerk makes everyone around you miserable, including yourself. The carnage and damage caused by jerks can be like staring into the Grand Canyon- it’s a big hole.

I’ve stared into some deep craters left by jerks. Not to let jerks off the hook, but I have found that most jerks haven’t heeded the advice of 99 Ways #60 // Deal with your past so it doesn’t consume your future.

I’ve been unsuccessful in keeping my inner jerk tied up in the corner.  There is a difference between temporarily mutating into being a jerk for a moment versus transformationally becoming a jerk.  If we are aware and intentional, we’ve immediately minimized the possibility of becoming a jerk. When you stoop low and act like a jerk, clean up the relational mess you made by apologizing and asking for forgiveness.

I just used this phrase with a friend after something I said came out entirely jerk-like,

“Would you mind if I try that again? Here is what I wish I would have said,…”

Are there any messes that you have to clean up?

This post is an excerpt from the Field Guide: 99 Ways to Navigate Your Best Life. Download the full guide here.

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